Posted March 11, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
A few days ago this we shared information regarding the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ (ICIJ / icij.org) establishment of the world’s first internet, searchable tax haven database. The web address where journalists, government tax authorities, anti-tax haven accountants and lawyers, or any men and women around the world interested in exposing their particular nation’s tax cheats can go to search is icij.org.
ICIJ has created a video tutorial for visitors/users of their website/database.
In a closer-to-ideal world the work of organizations whose efforts are exposing and eliminating the decades long secretive industry that is tax evasion would have long since become unnecessary. However, despite the growing awareness and outrage produced by exposure/awareness of the massive tax haven industry – aided and abetted by the world’s largest accounting, legal, and banking companies – the industry continues to facilitate nothing less than raw tax evasion that allows transnational corporations, the world’s wealthiest “blueblood/old money” families, drug cartel operators, arms merchants, and others with varying levels of criminality to avoid paying taxes to their nations.
French President Hollande has called for the “eradication of tax havens”, but his strong suggestion has yet to develop into a worldwide chorus that includes the voices of all who have benefitted from tax evasion schemes and have positions of power, whether that power is attained from great personal wealth, occupying the highest positions of government(s), sitting on boards of directors of the world’s largest corporations, or controlling the accessory-to-the-crimes world’s largest accounting, legal, and banking companies.
Despite France’s Hollande’s exhortations, tax havens have yet to experience “eradication”
Although it is glaringly obvious that tax havens are simply wrong, no nation on Earth has initiated sanctions against governments of the many locations that have tax haven companies on their soil. No concerted, strong-enough efforts have been undertaken to eliminate what can safely be described as the largest, longest-running scandal in the world. No laws have been passed that result in the transparency needed to make tax havens a historically interesting, but now non-existent relic of humanity’s greed infested, winner-takes-all, non-concern for one’s fellow-man past.
Sufficient political will around the Earth has yet to become mobilized to banish an industry that has contributed mightily to the greatest wealth inequality this world has ever experienced. The levels of poverty, starvation, economic hardship, healthcare, education debt, national-state-local debt, austerity measures, public demonstration against injustice, violence and war, etc. are all directly connected to the stealing of tax revenues through the tax haven industry.
Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is accused of stealing anywhere from 12 billion to 70 billion dollars from the people of Ukraine. Estimates run as high as 35 billion dollars needed by the Ukraine government to overcome that nation’s financial difficulties. The United States, the largest economy in the world, has offered Ukraine one billion dollars in loan guarantees. Why has the recovery of 12 to 70 billion dollars allegedly stolen by Viktor Yanukovych not become a very high priority from the perspective of making efforts for recovery widely known and publicly announced?
If and when the depository of Yanukovych’s stolen billions becomes public knowledge, because that location is most surely one or more tax havens, the tax haven industry will be the subject of reports by every news organization on Earth. The work of ICIJ and other groups have fought the monster of tax havens in what may be viewed as a “David and Goliath” manner until now in 2014. News organizations are not reporting on Yanukovych and tax havens because the survival of this massively corrupt industry is at stake.
Once the men and women of the world hear about Viktor Yanukovych’s actions to hide Ukraine’s stolen billions – and then learn the true extent of the gigantic, planet-wide tax evasion hoodwink that has been ongoing for decades – their reactions will make Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, and similar recent years’ people’s uprisings look like monthly meetings of your local ham radio operator clubs.
(Thank you to TheICIJ at YouTube)